By: Danny Kramer — School Sports Editor
Monday night the Boston Celtics completed their four game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and former Celtic star Kyrie Irving. Boston’s two biggest stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown carried the offensive load averaging 29.5 points per game and 22.5 points per game respectively.
The bigger story in the series was the impenetrable Celtics defense which was able to force Nets superstar Kevin Durant to just over 5 turnovers a game while Irving and Durant both shot under 50% from the field.
Sharon High School senior Noah Glassman reflected back on the people who doubted the Celtics after their rough start to the season. “Back in January, with the Celtics sitting at 18-21, nobody would have thought they would have made it this far; nevermind sweep one of the most talented teams in the league,” said Glassman.
Senior Jonah Nathan said that especially with the loss of Robert Williams in games 1 and 2, Boston center Daniel Theis’ presence was impactful. “I did not expect a sweep because I didn’t think Theis would be able to give viable starting center minutes. Theis being able to fill in for Rob Williams was crucial in the beginning of the series,” said Nathan.
Tatum averaged 29.5 points per game, 7.3 assists per game, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting a respectable 45.6% from the field and 41.9% from three point range in the series against Brooklyn.
Senior Nate Yaffe said Tatum’s performance reminded him of the late Kobe Bryant. “That man Tatum is dangerous, a playoff killer, reminded me of prime Kobe the way he was able to dominate the offensive end of the floor when the moment was big,” said Yaffe.
Senior Jonah Nathan said that Tatum’s improved defensive effort was the catalyst in winning this series. “Tatum showed that he has the ability to play good defense against one of the most talented scorers of all-time in Durant. He’s a two-way superstar,” said Nathan.
Senior Max Sherman was surprised by Durant’s inability to rise to the occasion with the Nets’ season on the line. “Kevin Durant is not nearly as clutch as I thought he was. Marcus Smart was able to clamp him all game and then with a chance to make it a one possession game, Durant missed a free throw. Unbelievable,” said Sherman.
After a Nets Game 1 loss at TD Garden in Boston, Irving was fined $50,000 for his inappropriate actions towards the fans which consisted of giving the fans the middle finger as well as verbal confrontation.
Nathan said Kyrie’s villainous role against the Celtics makes him dislike Irving even more after his time in Boston and now. “I’m fed up with Kyrie. He’s a bucket but I still hate the dude. How can you come into Boston, flip off the fans, and not expect the fans to respond,” said Nathan.
Glassman says that the Celtics have a real shot at obtaining title banner number eighteen as the playoffs progress. “Celtics are true contenders this year due to their number one defensive unit and their cohesiveness on the court. This group of guys has a really good chance at doing something special this playoffs,” said Glassman.